Cristal Harris

"I remember when the social worker from Child Protective Services came to inquire about what happened... to confirm or deny any allegations of sexual misconduct but didn’t seem to really care about getting the truth. I was a very timid child and wanted to tell her about all the things that had been going on, but another child convinced me to keep my mouth shut. She never separated us to get the our stories separately, she just asked us both. It was rather humiliating especially since neither of us knew her and had very little contact with people like her.

If you’re in foster care now… hold on. I think that holding on is imperative. I thought that when i was in the system it would never end. I always thought in terms of extremes. I realize now that life can sometimes be better than we imagine even when it's truly horrendous. Find a few allies and hold tight to those people, they will be your sanity.

The foster care system taught me to be my own advocate. I felt like I didn't have anyone that cared about me, about my life, or about the things I was concerned with. I learned to be my own advocate. I had to fight tooth and nail to be recognized and respected. It was a learning lesson that served me well — now as a law student, I do the same things for my clients."

-Cristal Harris with #HerStory

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